UA 53.36




0.42 linear feet [1 long document case]


James Marking was the South Dakota State University men’s basketball coach in the mid-1960’s to the mid-1970’s. This collection is composed of memorabilia relating to Marking’s career in coaching basketball.

Historical Note

Born April 26, 1927, in Parkston, SD, where he was raised by his grandparents, Jim Marking went on to become the winningest coach in SDSU men’s basketball history at the time of his retirement in 1974, with 148 wins and 80 losses, a 64.9 percentage.

After earning seven varsity letters while a student at Parkston High School (where he excelled at football), he entered the U.S. Navy before enrolling at SDSU. There he did not make the basketball team but was an excellent student of the game and, his senior year, coached at nearby Bruce (SD) High School.

After graduating in 1950 with a B.S. in Physical Education, he coached Hayti (SD) High School basketball (117-13) for four years, where he won the SD Boys State “B” High School Championship in 1954 and was runner-up twice. Beginning in 1956, Jim coached at Watertown (SD) High School (78-35) where he won the SD Boys State “A” High School Championship in 1959 and was runner-up twice. He completed his basketball coaching career at SDSU (1960-1974), where, as assistant coach under Jim Iverson, the SDSU Jackrabbit basketball team won the NCSS Division II National Championship in 1963. As SDSU head coach (1965-1974), he had four North Central Conference championships (1968-1969-1970-1973) and five NCAA post season appearances. Marking also served as SDSU’s tennis coach for five years.

After leaving SDSU, Jim was employed by Blue Cross Blue Shield of South Dakota, retiring in 1987.

During his 24 years of coaching basketball, Jim Marking produced 386 wins and 137 losses for a 73.8 percentage. His high school record was 194-48. His SDSU freshmen were 44-9. His record while coaching as SDSU was 148-80. His teams finished 79-45 in the conference for a 63.7 winning percentage. Beyond these records, he influenced hundreds of young student-athletes as a teacher, coach and advisor. His recognitions were numerous: the only SD high school basketball coach to win both a State “B” and a State “A” championship, SD Hall of Fame, SD High School Coaches Hall of Fame, SDSU Distinguished Alumnus Award, Watertown High School Hall of Fame, SD Basketball Coaches Hall of Fame, SDSU Hall of Fame, SD Press Association Distinguished Athletic Award, North Central Conference Hall of Fame, SD Sports Hall of Fame, SD College Coach of the Year (1970), and, on December 21, 1974, SD Governor Kneip issued an Executive Proclamation of “Jim Marking Day”.

On August 22, 1952, Jim Marking married Carola Koehn, a high school friend and 1982 SDSU Home Economics graduate. They had five children: Nancy Johnson (Sioux Falls); Tom (Cindy) Marking (Porterfield, WI); Dan (Susan) Marking (Grand Rapids, MN); Robert Marking (Brookings, SD); and Pam (Marvin) Rathlisberger (Crystal, MN). After 59 years together, his wife, Carola, preceded him in death on March 18, 2012.

Jim Marking died on January 19, 2013, and is buried in Brookings, SD.

Content Notes

Material relating to Jim Marking's career in coaching basketball as collected by him. Includes some instructional materials and basketball handouts, notes, notebooks of plays, record forms, and game programs, etc. Also includes press clippings regarding his retirement in 1974 and numerous congratulatory letters and cards for both his retirement and for his induction into the South Dakota Sports Hall of Fame in 1982.

SDSU Archives and Special Collections

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South Dakota State University Archives and Special Collections, Hilton M. Briggs Library, Brookings, South Dakota.


South Dakota State University supports access to the materials, published and unpublished, in its collections. Nonetheless, access to some items may be restricted as a result of their fragile condition or by contractual agreements with donors.